Game #141 SWB 4 – PAW 3
Melky Mesa hit two homers and drove in three runs in the Yankees 4-3 win over Pawtucket
DATE: August 31, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mesa Homers Twice as Yankees Down Pawtucket 4-3
Ramon Ortiz picks up 13th win of the season with seven inning effort
Pawtucket, RI– The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (83-58) claimed the International League North title on Thursday night and then on Friday kept the Pawtucket Red Sox (77-64) from claiming the Wild Card spot with a 4-3 win in the opening game of a four game series at McCoy Stadium. Melky Mesa’s two homers and a solid starting performance from Ramon Ortiz (WP, 13-6) gave the Yankees their 34th come from behind win on the season.
The Red Sox had a “magic number” of two to claim the Wild Card for 2012 and got one half of what it needed a Lehigh Valley loss. They had the other half of the equation in their sites grabbing an early lead off Ortiz. Danny Valencia, who began the season with Rochester and hit a pair of homers early in the year off SWB pitching, hit his third of the year a two run shot with two out to give the Paw Sox a 2-0 advantage. Three of Valencia’s eight homers in 2012 have come off Yankees pitching. The homer scored Tony Thomas who extended the inning with a two out single.
Mesa began to chip away at the Red Sox advantage with the first of his two homers on the night. With one out in the top of the second inning Mesa hammered a Chris Hernandez (LP, 1-4) deep over the wall in centerfield for his eighth of the season and the lead was trimmed to 2-1.
Hernandez settled down and kept the Yankees off the board until the top of the seventh inning when Mesa struck again. Cole Garner led off the inning with a gap double to left center off Hernandez, the first time the Yankees had gotten a runner past first base since the Mesa homer in the third. Mesa, the next hitter, took the Paw Sox left hander deep again, this time over the wall in left center for a two run homer and a 3-2 SWB lead. The Yankees would make it a 4-2 after Pawtucket changed pitchers with Pedro Beato coming into the game and Hernandez departing. Russo walked, went to second on a throwing error by Beato, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
The Red Sox pulled to within one run in the bottom of the inning on Jason Repko’s RBI triple that scored Nate Spears that cut the score to 4-3. Ortiz got out of the inning and was done for the night tossing 7.0 innings allowing seven hits with three runs, all earned with six strikeouts.
Preston Claiborne (SV, 1) got a slight scare in the bottom of the eight as the Paw Sox had a runner at third with one down. Jeremy Hazelbaker singled with one out in the inning and during the at bat of Ivan DeJesus stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Austin Romine. Hazelbaker was moving with contact on the one out grounder to third by DeJesus and was tagged out by Russo after he was caught between third and home. Claiborne got Tony Thomas to fly out to left field to end the inning.
The Red Sox got a leadoff single from Valencia in the ninth but could not advance the potential tying run as Claiborne got two pop ups on the infield and then retired Repko on a fly out to center to end the game.
The Yankees continue the final four game series of 2012 on Saturday night at Mc Coy Stadium against the Pawtucket Red Sox with right hander Chase Whitley (9-5, 3.45 ERA) scheduled to make the start. Right hander Nelson Figueroa (11-5, 4.18 ERA) is slated to start for Pawtucket.